Make the perfect homemade barbecue sauce with our Classic Barbecue Sauce recipe. This simple, no-cook recipe is versatile and not too tangy, not too sweet, making it a great basic sauce. Enjoy it on your favorite meats, sandwiches, or as a dip for nuggets.

Close up view of a spoonful of barbecue sauce.

Who doesn’t love a good barbecue sauce to take their meat to the next level? But let’s be real, store-bought sauces are often full of mystery ingredients that nobody can pronounce. That’s why we’re bringing you our Classic Barbecue Sauce recipe! This simple no-cook recipe is a great basic sauce that’s not too tangy, not too sweet, and incredibly versatile. Plus, it’s easy to make and takes just minutes to prepare. The flavors of the garlic and mustard will develop as they become reconstituted in the sauce, adding even more depth of flavor. This sauce is perfect for basting your grilled or roasted meats, or as a dip for your favorite nuggets. Trust us, once you’ve tried this homemade goodness, you’ll never go back to the bottled stuff!


One of the great things about our Classic Barbecue Sauce recipe is its versatility. You can use it to baste grilled or roasted meats, as a dipping sauce, or to add flavor to sandwiches, burgers, or sliders. It’s particularly great on pulled pork sandwiches, as well as with nuggets or as a topping for cream cheese chicken sliders.

Flavor Development

The flavors of the garlic and mustard will develop as they become reconstituted in the sauce. As a result, we recommend letting the sauce sit for at least a few hours or overnight before using it. This will allow the flavors to blend together and give your sauce a richer taste.

Liquid Smoke Substitutes

There are a few good substitutions for liquid smoke in homemade barbecue sauce. While liquid smoke adds a smoky flavor that’s difficult to replicate, there are some other ingredients you can use to add depth of flavor to your barbecue sauce. Here are a few options:

  • Smoked Paprika: Smoked paprika is made from smoked and dried peppers, giving it a smoky flavor that can be a good substitute for liquid smoke. Start with a small amount and adjust to taste.
  • Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce: Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce are smoked and dried jalapeno peppers that have been preserved in a tangy, smoky sauce. Adding a spoonful of the adobo sauce to your barbecue sauce can add a smoky flavor similar to liquid smoke.
  • Smoked Salt: Smoked salt is salt that has been smoked over a wood fire, giving it a smoky flavor. Adding a small amount of smoked salt to your barbecue sauce can add a subtle smoky flavor.

Keep in mind that the flavor of these substitutions may not be exactly the same as liquid smoke, so it’s important to adjust the amounts to taste and experiment with different options to find the one that works best for your recipe.

Homemade barbecue sauce in a glass canister.

Storage Instructions

Once you’ve made your Classic Barbecue Sauce, it’s important to store it properly. Simply transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. When you’re ready to use it, take it out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature before using it.

If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other delicious barbecue recipes: